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Fairly Odd Mother

Frantically waving my magic wand to make wishes come true.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Boob Tube is Flowing Again

Do you hear that?

Listen. . .

Yes, that is the Bob the Builder theme song! Which could only mean. . .

TV Turnoff Week is over!!!!!! (much fanfare and clapping)

We came through it all right even though the stinking New England weather decided to suck eggs late in the week. We weren't completely "screen free", though, as the children did park themselves in front of the upstairs computers and play games, usually around the same times they'd be watching television. Die harders would say we are missing the point, I would think.

(and as a side note, don't you think my children should be thrilled that we have TWO computers side-by-side in the upstairs office??? shouldn't that be plenty for them to share??? but, nooooooooooo, I am often called to referee a dispute between the three of them over whose turn it is to work the mouse and listen to "why can't we each get a computer????")

This is completely unrelated, but here is photo of the kiddos from Easter. D is flashing some sort of gang signal, Belly is trying to look as angelic as possible so that she can get more candy and Jilly is voguing. Many thanks to Grammy for buying all their Easter outfits again this year, saving me the pain of clothes shopping for the kids.

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Care to shower?

It is no big secret that I dislike showers. No, not the kind that clean your body---I L-U-V those, especially when the kids don't try to join me---but I do not enjoy the "wedding" or "baby" variety. No matter how much I love the person for whom the shower is being thrown, there are always too many older aunts, mothers, etc around to insure that things remain 'tame' and 'polite'.

So, it was with some joy that I discovered that baby showers are now being thrown virtually. Check out this, a baby shower for Liz of Mom-101, Christina of A Mommy Story, and newbie mom Tammie of Soul Gardening.

Apparently, all of these smart women would like some advice from other moms on what to expect. I know that two of them are perfectly capable moms in their own right, and the third will be just fine, but I figured I'd offer up one piece of advice that no one told me (damn you all!).

For months after you have that baby, wear Depends (or Poise Pads), especially if your baby came flying out of the chute. Trust me on this one. It is quite normal to pee yourself: 1) every time you think about going to the bathroom; 2) as you frantically try to unzip your pants; 3) as you go up or down stairs; 4) when you sneeze, cough or laugh; 5) for no apparent reason. For some of us, this little postpartum 'gift' will be around for a long, long time after the baby has arrived.

In a related item, for God's sakes, KEGEL! I will someday tell my own personal story, but knowing it may cause some of you to cross your legs and never let anything pass that way again, I will refrain until a later date. Just, please, Kegel, Kegel, Kegel.

So, that is it from me. I wish you all a quick delivery of a happy and healthy baby.

For anyone else reading this, stop by the shower site and play the games, offer congratulations and maybe even win prizes. Don't worry, you don't have to dress up, eat cold scrambled eggs or even bring a gift.

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Turn Off The TV Week: Like Life in them Olden Days

Today began "TV Turnoff Week", otherwise known as, "Make Mommy Crazy So She'll Let You Watch Double Next Week".

No, really, it is a wonderful idea

We made it through today by reading about 10 books, hosting two playdates (thank goodness for nice weather) and then, after Fairly Odd Father reminded me that he was going to a Red Sox game, dinner at a "real" restaurant ("real" meaning the 99; as opposed to a "not-real" restaurant, which would be Burger King drive-through eaten in the car).

We aren't a huge TV Family. But, I love how a few perfectly-timed shows can turn three loud, wild, fun-loving kids into quiet lumps. I love those quiet lumps. I need those quiet lumps. But, for a week, there will be no lumps in this house.

Have mercy on me.


Tonight, I was trying to catch up on the "100+" blog updates that I have yet to read from all my favorite bloggers, and I stumbled upon this post from Oh, The Joys. And, look at what she did for little ol' me!

My site was nominated for Best Parenting Blog!

Now, I doubt I will win this thing, seeing as I have two votes (which means, be still my heart, someone other than Oh, The Joys voted for me too! and, no that other person was not me!). But, to get a little pat on the head every now and then feels kinda nice. So, I'm going to go smiling off to bed where I will stare at the TV screen until I fall asleep, and then will feel just a teensy bit guilty in the morning when the kids ask me to turn on a show and I sweetly tell them, "I'm sorry dears, it is TV Turnoff Week".


Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Letter of the Week is. . .T!

At dinner last night, Jilly jumped out of her seat and ran to the bathroom clutching her bottom. She has a tendency to wait until the last. . .possible. . .moment to use the bathroom, so it is always a five-alarm fire.

A few minutes later, I heard her call, "Mooooooooommmmmmmmmmeeeeee", and I dutifully got up to wipe me some butt.

When I entered the bathroom, Jilly cheerily said, "I Made a Letter!"


Jilly folded her body over so that I could peer into the bowl, and---whatdoyouknow? It was the Letter T! Made out of poop! (and, when I say "made", I mean that it accidentally happened; thankfully no hands were involved in the making).

I would've taken a photo, but maternal pride does have its limits.


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

More Than You Wanted to Know

A while back, I asked the brain behind Alpha DogMa to interview me. I had just finished reading her own hilarious interview (you must read it here), and knew she would send me some good questions.

After she sent me the questions, I printed out the email so that I could ponder them on my own time (cue wild laughter over 'my own time'! as if!). Fairly Odd Father saw my printout lying on the desk and scribbled in his suggested answers. Let's see how close he got to my actual answers:

Question Number One: You are obviously a music fan, but what critically-acclaimed, wildly popular musical act (past or present) makes you scratch your head and say, "What the -?"

Fairly Odd Father's guess: "Anything Top 40"

My actual answer: FOF, that is just too easy. And, there are many so-called Top 40 songs that I enjoy without shame.

Instead, I will go to a band that I'm sure will cause some to object. Because this is a wildly popular band that has been around for years and proven that it can produce hits time and time again. It is a band for which FOF owns no less than 12 CD's. That band is U2.

God, I dislike U2. Even in its early days, I just didn't get it. I still don't. Their music does nothing for me. Let's just say, I'm not "me too" for U2 (ha ha, lame, I know).

2. Any advice for parents (ie Me) contemplating homeschooling?

Fairly Odd Father's guess: "Sedatives"

My actual answer: Hmmm. . .Fairly Odd Father's answer sounds spot on. . .no, no, just kidding.

I could talk about homeschooling for a really long time and it'd bore you all to tears---it'd also make you snicker since I've been doing it for all of seven months, so I'm no seasoned veteran. But, as a newbie, there were two things that really made me think, "I can do this".

The first thing I did was read, read, read. I especially liked John Holt's Teach Your Own, as well as some of his earlier books; Linda Dobson's books will give you tons of confidence and are filled with ideas; Rebecca Rupp was also someone I read. Mary Griffith's The Unschooling Handbook will help you see that learning can happen anywhere. All of these should be available in the library, so just start reading!

The second thing I did was seek out local homeschooling groups so that I could see what types of activities were out there for homeschoolers. Through these groups, I was able to meet people, both online and in person, who let me know what it was like to homeschool in this part of the country. I was shocked at how many people in this area do it, and the numbers seem to be growing. I was also pleasantly surprised that they weren't all like the homeschooling families that you see on TV (you know what I mean: 15 kids, mom in a long dress, kids reading the Bible every 10 minutes; dad talking about the evils of school, etc. etc).

Once you're 'in' it, sedatives may be necessary from time to time. I recommend a glass of wine at about 5pm.

3. You are going on your dream vacation: where is your final destination and are you bringing your husband and children?

Fairly Odd Father offers: "Or are you bringing Phillippe the pool boy?"

My actual answer: We have a pool?

I would love to go somewhere warm, where the water is blue-green, the sand white and the drinks frozen with swirly straws. I would also like to have Fairly Odd Father and all three Fairly Odd Children there because I think I'd miss them too much. That said, wherever we go should have some sort of children's program so that the kids can go play while us adults get some time alone. I know these places exist, we just haven't gotten there yet.

4. How do you cope with stress?

Fairly Odd Father says: "Stoli"

My actual answer: Cope? You think I cope? (and so far my husband thinks I am an alcoholic pill-popper who is sleeping with the hired help. Lovely!)

Really, how do I cope with stress? I cry. Actually, first I yell, then I cry.

I know all about yoga, deep-breathing, meditation, regular exercise and all of that, but I am not great about doing it. Maybe someday I'll learn.

5. What dish/recipe/meal do you most like to make and will you give me the recipe - pretty please with sugar on top?

Fairly Odd Father's response: "Motor City Marvel"

And, I say: Hey, good one FOF! This recipe comes from the fattening, bad-for-you, totally indulgent book called The Sweet Potato Queen's Big-Ass Cookbook (and Financial Planner). And, the title is actually "Motor Home Marvel" because it is a dessert you can make in your double wide without needing a big oven.

We've made it several times for friends who still oooo and ahhhhh when we bring it out (what can I say, we have trashy friends).

To make it, just take a bunch of ice cream sandwiches and cover the bottom of a 9x13" pan with them (remove the wrappers but I sure hope you knew that!). Take a fork and poke holes in the top layer of the sandwiches, and then pour a jar of caramel sauce over them (the kind you'd pour on a sundae). Then spread Cool Whip over that, and sprinkle with Heath Bar or Skor Bar bits (found in the same aisle as chocolate chips, or, if you are feeling feisty, you can smash up your own). That's it! Stick back into the freezer until you are ready to serve.

And now, with my tummy rumbling, I will go to bed and dream of ice cream sandwiches layered all over Phillipe the Pool Boy. Mangia!

(By the way, if anyone wants me to send them 5 interview questions, just leave a note in the comments area and I will attempt to do so. Please include an email address!)

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Sunday, April 15, 2007

Stream of Semi-Consciousness

Wait, is that snow? OK, maybe not snow but freezing rain? WTF???? It is April 15th, 7:30am and I am seeing hail bounce off the back patio. L-O-V-E-L-Y. I swear, if this hurts my fledgling little tulip plants that I planted on my hands-and-knees last fall, I will need to talk to someone higher up about this weather.

This wasn't what I popped on to say. I actually wanted to say "Thank You" for all the amazingly lovely comments you left when I was struck down by "The Strep". I'm feeling better, although I now have a hacking cough that forces Fairly Odd Father out of our bed in search of quieter sleeping chambers.

I also wanted to say that Belly is not here! For those of you who know us and our crazy sleeping habits, this is big news. Belly spent the night with my mom, and we did not receive a 10pm phone call from my mom begging us to pick up our screaming six-year-old. Either my mother gave her a shot of whiskey to shut her up or Belly went to sleep, just like that. You don't even know where my mind is going. The next time, I'm giving my mom Belly AND Jilly to see how they do. It is only a matter of time before I am dropping off ALL THREE CHILDREN at my mother's house and then driving home to Fairly Odd Father and I's first night together without the kids. I'm sure a night of such importance would have to involve sex out in the open, music blaring at 11pm, and lots of big frozen drinks. In other words, we could pretend we were 20-something again.

Finally, I need to say 'hey' to the sweet Nan of Alpha DogMa because I asked her to interview me so that I'd have something to break through this writer's block I'm experiencing. She sent me five questions, lickity split, and I have yet to answer them here. I promise to attack them next.

And, finally (how often can I say "finally"?), I want to stand up and accept my award from the kind Elizabeth of Table For Five who took pity on my awardless ass and gave me this:

Isn't it beautiful? Yup, I can now hold my head up high and say, "Why, yes, I am an award-winning writer".

Happy Sunday to you all. I hear little footsteps upstairs which are calling my name.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

How the (somewhat) Mighty have Fallen

It seems that this "muddiness" I've been feeling has a name: "strep throat". So, I'm off to pop endless pills in order to still drag the kids to their million activities this week.

Getting sick when you are a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom to three kids ages 6 and under is a special circle of hell. The kids have no real empathy; they only know what they need and they need it NOW. I just want to lie down with a pillow over their head, but they need a peeled apple, a cup of chocolate milk or help in the bathroom. If they were older, I could mutter, "Do it yourself"; I've seen what happens when I mutter this, so now I just heave my old, leaden, weary body up and go through the motions of mothering.

Hopefully my sense of humor will return with my health because I'm getting tired of myself. Please send me heaps of pity: for some reason, this makes me feel better.


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

My Name is Mud

The calendar says it is spring. A time for flitting around outside, like the mother robin hopping around in my front yard. I should feel full of sunlight, love and the promise of a new day.

Instead, inside my head, it is mud season. I feel heavy, slow and dark. Everything I do ends up making a big mess.

I know this will pass. Mud season always ends---the sunshine will become warm again and dry up the puddles, flowers will bloom, the air will feel good against my skin.

But for now, I'm stuck in it. Don't touch me if you want to stay clean.


Sunday, April 01, 2007

Picture = Thousand Words

There isn't much new to say right now, so I'll just post some of my favorite photos from the past few months:

Nature's Snow Cone---just look out for the yellow snow, girls:

Jilly, determined to get every candle:

Belly and Jilly, in a rare quiet moment:

Smooshable little D:

Babies no more:

Belly getting high:
Who you calling dogface?